Kathryn Lopez: The Weird New Era of Abortion Debate

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Evidently, people gathered in Washington, D.C. for March for Life this year with a new focus, after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. This decision made legal abortion law.

While legal abortion has been made illegal in many states since that decision, there is still much to be done to ensure the protection of life in America. Our debate on abortion is still mired in the incoherence, cruelty and judgmental attitudes that are a hallmark of Roe’s era.

During recent debates in the House of Representatives regarding legislation that would protect babies born alive from a botched abort, a Democratic congresswoman representing Michigan used the Old Testament to defend her. “no” vote. She began: “As a pro-choice Christian who chose life, this issue is so personal to me. My faith informs my actions, but it doesn’t dictate the policy of an entire nation.”

At the Vigil for Life, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, before the March for Life, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington (the U.S. bishops’ office for pro-life) stated that a child within the womb belongs only to God, and that everyone has a responsibility for doing what they can to protect this child of God. For me, this seems like a more practical takeaway from Scripture.

A congresswoman argued recently that it was dangerous to transport a baby born alive from a failed abortion to a hospital. She stated that the legislation was not appropriate. “requires immediately taking a struggling baby to a hospital. That hospital could be hours away and could be detrimental to the life of that baby.” What if the baby is left to starve? This is cruelty and incoherence.

This new moment after Roe calls for a review of our national conscience. Why is abortion so widespread? Why is abortion considered freedom and healthcare when it is often seen as the only solution? There are some very difficult cases. The majority of abortions in America don’t involve horrifying stories that require babies to be born alive at the most recent stages of pregnancy. Most abortions are birth control. Let’s talk about the majority of abortions, and how we can help women make their own decisions.

NPR profiles a midwife and nurse practitioner who performs telehealth abortions in honor of the 50th anniversary Roe and the First March for Life. The headline was: “With telehealth abortion, doctors have to learn to trust and empower patients.” This is what the report said: “Once, she provided an abortion from a restaurant, where she was out to dinner with friends.” Her name was in the article. “I have found ways to just sort of work it into the rest of my life,” She says. “If I’ve got to go meet a contractor at my house, I’ll be doing an abortion phone consult while I’m driving.”

CVS and Walgreens soon will be able to dispense abortion pills. Do you think abortion should be discussed while driving, at dinner, or with the contractor? It seems bizarre, incoherent, and frighteningly casual. Can we do better?

(Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at National Review Institute, editor-at Large of National Review magazine, and the author of the book. “A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living.” She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan’s pro-life commission in New York, and is on the board of the University of Mary She can be contacted at [email protected].)

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